Window Design Ideas: Unusual Window Shapes

Give your home a distinctive look, inside and out, with a window that has a shape as individual as your own style.

Doorway Drama

A beautiful window is a work of art--a wonderfully shaped break in the wall filled with a stunning view. But windows almost always add function to their form, bestowing a room with light and air. Here are some windows with distinctive shapes that stand apart.

The shape of this barrel-vault ceiling gets added emphasis from two winking arched windows above the fireplace. The crisp architecture of the upper windows contrasts with the traditional, wood-frame windows below.

Serene Circular Window

This restrained round window illuminates a pretty white tub and keeps the room's curvy theme going strong. A simple grid adds architectural interest, and the small shape and off-center placement maintains privacy.

Window Details Make a Statement

This sprawling Shingle-style home is fully clad with unique details, thanks in part to a range of interesting windows. Arched beauties with sunburst grilles adorn the tower. Transom windows of varying shapes and sizes get their own unusual grilles. And round windows add additional visual pop. Thanks to universally beautiful grilles and a play of lines and curves, the myriad styles meld wonderfully.

Narrow Window with Modern Lines

This angular modern home shows off its rectilinear form with a lean window at the end of the kitchen, illuminating a custom-built breakfast table. Wavy reeded glass accentuates the window's long lines and keeps the breakfast setting private from neighbors.

Shingle-Style Keyhole Window

A keyhole window between the kitchen and dining area adds practicality and unexpected charm. Keyholes are a smart way to bring light from a room that has plenty into a room where it's lacking. In addition, the curved grille and oval shape add custom charm.

Transom Windows with High Design

Transoms are divided into squares and diamonds by muntins. The decorative grillwork opens up the front of the home and adds a distinctive style flourish. There's a functional side to augmenting picture windows with side windows and transoms: The operable side windows can help a room with ventilation when a large picture window is fixed in place.

Craftsman Character

Craftsman homes are known for their use of warm wood trim, with even the windows benefiting from divided grills. Here the square windows, divided into quarters by muntins, echo the shapes of the pergola, creating a thematically unified walkway.

Round Foyer Window

A large skylight shines down, illuminating a beautiful staircase in two-tone wood. But another window is doing more subtle work in this beautiful entry. A round keyhole transforms a doorway, turning the simple vestibule into an architectural signature. Round, or bull's-eye, windows became popular in the Baroque period as a means of adding visual interest to the upper floors of buildings.

Tall, Tudor-Style Windows

The narrow groupings of rectangles spell out Tudor style, especially when accented with geometric grilles. Paired with arched French doors in glossy wood and set in stone, the window trio helps create a striking focal point for the home's front.

Windows with Grand Heights

Two exuberantly detailed bay windows line a San Francisco rowhouse in a curtain of pretty arches. The curving windows and architecture are signature elements of the area's Victorian architecture.

Graceful Curved Window

Even when you want a dynamic visual effect from installing an unusually shaped window, appropriate size is still important. Properly scaled, an arched window is a graceful addition to a traditional room. Also, stay consistent with millwork used elsewhere in a home.

Geometric Windows

Take a look at these squares. Here, straightforward square and rectangular windows are grouped into ribbon windows and paired in unique ways that make this home stand apart. Mullion thickness is also varied to create geometric patterns. French doors on the balcony are flanked by windows of equal size, creating a bright entrance.

Windows Fit to a T

A long window transcends style and levels of a home on a forward-facing wing, topped with a dual-pitch roof. On the peak above the entry, a Queen Anne-style window is edged with the traditional square pattern, but with a nontraditional flourish--two square sidelights.

Doorway Drama

A towering fanlight makes a dramatic architectural statement, with a modern interpretation of a window traditionally seen in Federal and Georgian architecture. Flooding the entry with light, the window emphasizes the height of the foyer and casts a spotlight on a gorgeous chandelier.

Round, Bull's-Eye Window

Drawing on the Baroque tradition of round accent windows--even the shape of this grid is rooted in tradition--this beautiful bull's-eye window brings light into a hallway. Round windows crop up in numerous architectural styles, from French Eclectic to Colonial Revival to Shingle style.

Art Glass

A long, rectangular window placed high in the room lets light flood this mudroom but maintains privacy. An art glass pane is a beautiful way to add visual detail to a room and to block a not-so-great view in a room where you'd nonetheless prefer to have a window.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.